Salvation Army making unprecedented push for donations - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Salvation Army making unprecedented push for donations

by Bryan Goettel

CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) - No, it's not December.  But minus the bell and the sure looks like it.

"This is an unprecedented event," Salvation Army kitchen manager Candie Edmonds said.

In the past few weeks, the Salvation Army in Cedar Rapids has seen a dramatic increase in people needing free meals. Edmonds remembers serving just over 100 not that long ago. Now a typical day sees as many as 250 come through.

"It really tugs at my heart," Edmonds said. "To have to reach out to the Salvation Army is sometimes a little bit of a hitch in their craw, but we're here for them."

"This is a different kind of a need and an increased need over what would be the baseline in any normal year," Salvation Army advisory board chairman Phillip Seidl said.

You can thank two familiar factors: the poor economy and the flood. A $50,000 grant from the United Way has helped some families with financial needs. It's also paying for a canteen to provide snacks and drinks to volunteers helping with flood recovery. But it's not enough.

"We're all in this together on this one," Seidl said.

And so for the first time, the Cedar Rapids Salvation Army has its red counter kettles out in the summer.

"And I'm sure that with the collaborated efforts of everybody working together, pulling together, we'll be able to strengthen Cedar Rapids," Edmonds said. "I just know it."

The red kettles are beginning to pop up in businesses around Cedar Rapids like at Guaranty Bank and Collins Road Theatres. The Salvation Army's goal is to raise $15,000 by August 10th.

Online Reporter: Bryan Goettel

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